So, Malawi was during the week on a discourse analysis of Energy Minister Ibrahim Matola’s saying: “Osalola achule amene akunena kuti mukuyendayenda.” Social media being what it is, an amplified conversation, the tongues were wagging on both sides of the wall following Matola’s remarks when President Lazarus Chakwera inaugurated the $33 million 20 megawatt JCM Golomoti Solar Power Plant.
On the one side stood those who felt the People’s Party secretary general insulted Malawians frogs for demanding that President to lessen his local and international trips. In their terms, it was outright madness to call Malawians frogs. To add salt to injury for them, they are feeling the harsh economic times they are going through as the administration has repudiated its campaign promises and is going in the opposite direction.
On the other hand, others felt there was nothing wrong with what Matola said. They feel this was just a proverbial notion that some took literary. They said Matola was only referring to proverbial frogs making noise that does not distract the elephant from drinking water.
Even as Chakwera rebuffed Matola’s sentiments, it was not clear what would happen to him, as the speech could nto derail the austierity measures Chakwera has been proclaiming.
It is common knowledge that previously Matola had his foot in the mouth again when he uttered unprintable and demeaning words against the former chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission Jane Ansah. Once is a mistake, but is twice a coincidence?
In his explanation, Matola says he didn’t Malawians but the opposition politicians who were against the President’s trips.
A rather strange explanation because he calls, literally, those who oppose their style ‘frogs’.
This name-calling is the lowest level any sane person can go in disagreeing. It is the lowest ebb one can sink to express their opinion in a debate.
It is quite sad that this sort of cheap name-calling is heavily tolerated on the Malawi political scene.
Funny enough, the demeaning tool is used by our politicians merely to cover up their mistakes, cause confusion, deceive observers, invalidate opponents, draw attention and instigate reactions. More often than note, the politicians achieve their ends.
Not so long ago, we heard of apumbwa kuchecheta chuma cha boma ngati zipwete; munali kuti abongololo?; Agalu inu! and so much more.
Malawians are used to the mudslinging. Maybe it helps ease their pain a little. It is a much-needed breather to the daily news about billions growing wings from government coffers!
Malawians need a healthy break from the sad news that the revenue collector celebrates that it collected much more than targeted in a period Malawians on the street are crying against rising taxes. And, hard news to bear is that you will never really get to know how the money will be used only to learn later that it was chewed in one way or the other.
Malawians face too much of hard news so the foot-in-mouth stunts of Matola and his likes gives a commercial break to the tales of misery.
Indeed, we just need a break from hearing that weevils at Admarc were at it again, trying to sell 100 000 metric tonnes of maize to Zimbabwe before accessing the maize situation in the country. The rot at Admarc needs divine intervention.
So, yes, Mr Matola, thank you for the break. You can also call us akhwakhwananda, nanthesi, naligonkhwiro or tonkhwetonkhwe, and anything you like. We are all yours, you are first-class citizens of this country. You are so good at diversion. n